Beaches take a pounding
BEACHES took a battering from stormy seas today as gale-force winds pounded the shores at Felixstowe.Spectacular waves driven by the winds swept ashore in an awesome display of the power of nature.
BEACHES took a battering from stormy seas today as gale-force winds pounded the shores at Felixstowe.
Spectacular waves driven by the winds swept ashore in an awesome display of the power of nature.
But there was a great sigh of relief from beach-side traders and property owners as they awoke to find the seafront relatively unscathed.
South and south-east winds had hammered the sea defences, which held firm and gardens, beach huts and attractions suffered little damage.
People had battened down the hatches, fearing a dreadful night with weather forecasters confidently predicting force seven and eight winds off the coast.
February is traditionally a stormy time for the resort's beaches – the 1953 floods in which 40 people died happened in January-February – and the town does not feel safely out of winter's grip until these tides have passed.
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With high tide due at mid-morning, observers were still keeping an eye on the heavy swell which was sweeping in from the south.
No flooding was expected, but the water was expected to reach the promenade and floodgates in Sea Road were shut in readiness. Beach hut owners were holding their breath in case their chalets were lifted and jostled together.
In Undercliff Road East, enormous waves were crashing onto the sea defences and boats moored on the shore had been pulled up as far as possible.
The new rock groynes were taking the full force of the waves, sending huge amounts of spray into the air, and the rocks protecting the base of the prom and stopping it collapsing were also holding firm.
Just offshore, the new tops of the wishbone-shaped reef groynes could be seen doing their jobs – soaking up the wave energy and protecting Cobbold's Point from damage.
Council beach inspectors were patrolling the resort's five-mile coastline to keep a watch for damage and to report and deal with any immediate problems.